Net Zero Carbon Energy & Enhancement of Biodiversity

Biomass Gasification involves the chemical transformation of Biomass into 2 energy streams
1. Syngas
2. Biochar

Both streams can be used in several ways.

Syngas can be used as fuel in gas engines to generate electricity and heat in a Biomass CHP system or can be used as a precursor material for other chemical processes e.g. “green plastics”

Biomass CHP systems offer Net Zero alternatives to expensive electrically powered Heat Pumps.

Biochar can be used as a soil conditioner in which it also sequesters carbon. Biochar has a significant role to play in ongoing Carbon Drawdown from the atmosphere.

Biomass Feed stock sourcing is crucial in maximising the benefits of Biomass Gasification, these can be summarised
1. Near zero carbon footprint energy production
2. Enhanced bio-diversity due to the use of Short Rotation Coppicing of feedstock, where plantations are created that both Draw Down Carbon whilst enhancing habitats and boosting Biodiversity.

When assessing the benefits of Biomass Gasification and its beneficial contribution for Net Zero Energy Generation, Carbon Drawdown and “Biodiversity Boosting” the use of appropriate assessment standards are essential and Biogen Systems are committed to use of ISO14067 to its manufacturing process and the Operational Carbon Lifecycle of the installed systems.

biochar tree diagram

Biomass Gasification

Biomass Gasification involves the thermo-chemical transformation of Biomass typically

1. Waste Wood or suitable Agricultural by products
2. Virgin wood chip
3. Short Rotation Coppiced energy crops e.g., Willow, Miscanthus

Into a Syngas consisting of Hydrogen, Carbon Monoxide and Methane. The Syngas is then used to fuel a gas engine to produce electricity and heat. It can also be used to generate steam or chilled water. It crucially offers benefits versus Solar and Wind in that it

1. It is available 24 hrs per day
2. Generation of heat more cost effectively than using Heat Pumps
3. Scalable to offer non fossil fuel energy generation in off grid rural areas.


Net Zero Carbon Energy Generation

Biomass Gasification systems using locally sourced Biomass (<20 mile radius) outperform leading renewable technologies i.e. Solar/Wind/Heat Pumps when compared in terms of
1. Cost
2. Embedded Carbon
3. Accreditation against IS014067
4. Total Life Cycle Carbon Consumption

The production of Biochar and its associated Carbon Sequestration yield significant benefits in terms of
1. Balancing Carbon footprint of the Biomass production cycle.
2. Carbon Drawdown
3. Enhanced soil Biodiversity
4. Enhanced Soil Carbon content

The production of the Biomass feedstock provides enhanced Bio-diversity within the feedstock plantations and further increases carbon storage within the targeted marginal land upon which these plantations will increasingly be located.


Carbon Drawdown & Boosting Biodiversity

The use of Biomass fuel like most Renewable Technologies, largely breaks the link between energy production and greenhouse gas emissions. However, Biomass Gasification has several benefits not present with more mainstream renewable technologies i.e.

1. The production of Biochar provides the capability to start putting Carbon back from whence it came , in effect operation of a Biomass Gasification System starts to take Carbon Dioxide generated from the combustion of coal and buries it as Bio-Coal aka as Biochar

2. The growing of Biomass and the burial of Biochar fundamentally alters the ability of marginal and degraded soils to support enhanced Bio-diversity and build back soil carbon stocks.


Energy Crops and Bio-diversity


In the UK Biogen envisage that the feed stock for Biomass fuelled Combustion and Gasification facilities will move away from the use of virgin wood. This being due to there being increasing demand for wood for construction and the need to reduce “Wood miles” by shifting to home grown timber. This will require a focus on

1. Waste Management produced timber being diverted to large scale Urban Biomass Combustion facilities ideally with attached heat networks

2. “Wood miles” will also have an impact on the production of Energy crops with their being used for local power and heat generation networks in the “Shires”

3. Carbon budgets for the production of energy crops will need to be as low as possible and ideally balanced by attendant carbon sequestration within the soil.

The Modular and micro nature of Biomass Gasification systems allows for them to be placed in the “Shires” either as larger multi system installations supporting larger housing and industrial developments or at the single system village level. Crucially Gasification facilities can be located close to the fuel production facilities whilst the fuel production facilities remain close to their feeder plantations.

Often overlooked when discussing the merits of Biomass is that if responsibly and sustainably sourced it will play a transformative role in the

1. Above ground habitat it provides for plants, lichens, fungi, mammals, birds, insects and other invertebrates.

2. But crucially also below ground in terms of fung, insets and other invertebrates, whilst also facilitating and enhancing soil carbon storage.

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Thornton Science Park
Pool Lane

+44 (0)1244 662 527

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